Reed Travel Features
HACKENSACK, N.J. -- Ancient Civilizations is the name of the
extensive two-week Syria and Jordan program being offered by Sunny
The tour begins in Amman and features a full-day trip to the
Biblical town of Madaba with its sixth century mosaic map of
Jerusalem in the Greek Orthodox Church, Mount Nebo overlooking the
Jordan Valley and the Dead Sea.
From Amman, clients travel overland south to Wadi Rum, the
desert setting for "Lawrence of Arabia," and to Aqaba on the Dead
Sea, with an overnight and time for swimming and water sports at
Two hours north, a day and a night are spent at the Nabataean
city of Petra, with a return the following day to Amman via the
Crusader castle of Kerak.
The route north to Syria passes through Jerash, founded by
Alexander the Great, yet known as one of the most complete Roman
settlements anywhere; the next stop after crossing the border out
of Jordan is Damascus.
Tour members leave the next morning for an overnight in Palmyra,
Syria's grandest Roman-era treasure.
A tour of the former capital of Queen Zenobia's empire includes
a walk along the Great Colonnade and a visit to the Temple of Bel,
the theater and the museum.
Dura Europas is the next stop, a settlement high on cliffs above
the Euphrates River and built by the Macedonians in the second
Farther down river is Mari, an ancient walled settlement with
houses, temples and a palace.
Following an overnight in Deir ez-Zor, travelers depart for
Aleppo, visiting the desert castles at Halabia and Rasafah en
route. Two nights are spent in Aleppo, Syria's second-largest city,
with a vast souk that is one of the great bazaars of the Middle
City sightseeing includes the Citadel, and outside of town
participants visit the pilgrimage site of Saint Simeon the
Stylites, where a fifth century saint spent 37 years in prayer atop
a six-foot pillar.
On the two-day trip back to Damascus, tour members visit Apamea,
whose temples, gates and extensive wall were built in the second
century B.C.; Ebla, where a vast archive of clay tablets of an
early Semitic language were found; Hama with its enormous ancient
water wheels; the grand Crusader castle of the Krac des Chevaliers,
and Maaloula with its Monastery of St. Takla and the Convent of St.
Two nights are spent in Damascus, where sightseeing includes the
National Museum, the Citadel and the Umayyad Mosque and
The splendid Roman theater at Bosra is the last stop in Syria
before crossing back into Jordan, where the final night is spent in
Departures from the U.S. aboard Royal Jordanian are scheduled
for Fridays, and the cost per person, double, including air from
New York to Amman, is $3,395 through May; $3,495 June l to Aug. 31
and Dec. 10 to 24, and $3,185 September through March 31 (except
Dec. 10 to 24).
Also covered are deluxe accommodations, breakfast and dinner
daily at hotels and lunch on full-day tours, sightseeing by private
car or minibus with guides, transfers, tips and baggage
To book, call (800) 783-7839 or (201) 487-2150.